Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Annabel (Delirium #1.5) by Lauren Oliver - Ashley's Review

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Title: Annabel
Author: Lauren Oliver
Year Published: 2012

Synopsis: Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery—a ghost in Lena's past. Until now.

Discover her secrets in Lauren Oliver's brilliant original digital story set in the world of New York Times bestsellers Delirium and Pandemonium.

Lena Halloway's mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That's the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different. As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old. Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love.

But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.

The first thing I really enjoyed about this short story is that it is written in the same style as Pandemonium - as a "Now and Then" type thing. I like how the novella kind of mirror the books, and I think it adds quite a bit to the whole series. The next thing that I really enjoyed was learning about Annabel. She's such a mystery to us, and to Lena, and I've always wondered about who she was before she ended up in the Crypts, and what her life in the Crypts was like. And we even get to see a little bit of Lena's father.

Oliver does an excellent job yet again taking a minor character and really expanding on her story so that we not only understand the character, but we also understand more about the society and the world of Delirium. Annabel doesn't grow up in a world where the cure is mandatory, unless you're a criminal or a bad kid. Instead, people opt into it. And I think that really helps the reader to understand how such a thing became mandatory for everyone, and why most people seem to believe that it's a good thing.

Like with Hana, I think everyone who has read any of the Delirium books should read this story. I liked it even more than Hana, and would totally give it at least a 4/5. Go read it! 


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